Huge 320 MW Solar Hydro Project Starts Trial Run in China

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A 320 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant, located next to an existing hydroelectric dam in western China, has begun its trial run.

According to China Daily, the Longyangxia Dam in Qinghai Province integrates both solar and hydro-power generation to bring renewable energy to the grid. It is the largest hydro-solar project in the world to date.

The project was constructed by a subsidiary of the China Power Investment Corporation, one of the five largest state-owned electricity producers in China.

The 329 MW solar photovoltaic plant will work in conjunction with the existing 1.28 GW Longyangxia Hydro Power Station.

The integration of hydropower generation in a solar project has been successfully used in many other regions around the world to help smoothen the delivery of power to the grid. Hydropower can cheaply and easily balance the variable output of solar power.

The PV portion of the project expected to deliver 498 million kilowatt hours of electricity to the grid over its 25 year lifespan.

The PV portion incorporates 15 MW of Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited’s YGE series of PV modules as well as modules from JA Solar.

Construction on the PV project began in March of 2013, with commissioning on the first week of December of 2013. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

127 Countries Greenlight Renewable Energy Policies

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A total of 127 countries have enacted policies to encourage the development of renewable energy projects this year found the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online report.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, support policies for renewable energy technologies have increased dramatically over the last decade. Starting the mid-200’s policies focused on deployment of renewable energy technologies have been enacted at a rapid pace, growing from 48 countries in mid-2005 to the afore mentioned 127 as of early 2013.

The majority of renewable energy support polices worldwide support power generation. Regulatory policies such as feed-in tariffs, net metering/billing, and renewable portfolio standards or quotas specifically seek to encourage the use of renewable energy technologies for power.

F.I.T.’s are the most widely adopted renewable energy policy with 99 in place worldwide at the national or state/provincial level. Municipal governments were also seen as becoming more active in introducing F.I.T.’s in cities.

R.P.S.’s are basically quotas for a specific required minimum share of renewable energy. These now exist in 76 countries, states, or provinces.

In 66 countries, tax incentives are also being used to spur developments in the renewable energy sector. Tax incentives can take many forms such as production tax credits, or investment tax credits. Many countries have also enacted measures to reduce or exempt specific taxes on renewable energy technologies to decrease costs of project development. These include value added tax, sales tax, or import duties.

“As the renewable energy sector continues to mature, policymakers face a host of new challenges,” said Evan Musolino, trend author. “While the pace of countries adopting new renewable energy support policies has slowed somewhat in recent years, the sector has experienced a flurry of activity centered on revising existing policy mechanisms. Policy changes have been driven by a variety of factors, both positive and negative.”

Worldwatch is an independent research organization that focuses on energy, resource, and environmental issues. Their Vital Signs Online report are a subscription-based tool to provide business leaders, policymakers and engaged citizens with data and analysis they need to understand critical global trends. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

IBM Wants More Solar & Wind in the Smart Grid

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Computing giant IBM has developed an advanced power and weather modeling technology that will increase the reliability of renewable energy resources.

The IBM solution combines weather prediction and analytics to accurately forecast the availability of wind power and solar energy. This will help utilities integrate more renewable energy into the power grid.

The solution, named “Hybrid Energy Forecasting” or HyRef uses weather modeling capabilities, advanced cloud imaging technology and sky-facing camas to track cloud movements; sensors on turbines to monitor wind speed, temperature and direction; and analytics technology to produce accurate local weather forecasts within a wind farm as far as one moth in advance or in 15-minute increments.

HyRef utilizes local weather forecasts to predict the performance of each individual wind turbine and estimate the amount of generated renewable energy. This will better enable utilities to manage the variable nature of wind and solar power and more accurately forecast the amount of power that can be redirected into the power grid or stored.

“Utilities around the world are employing a host of strategies to integrate new renewable energy resources into their operating systems in order to reach a baseline goal of a 25 percent renewable energy mix globally by 2025,” said Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, President and CEO of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE). “The weather modeling and forecasting data generated from HyRef will significantly improve this process and in turn, put us one step closer to maximizing the full potential of renewable resources.”

One of the first utilities that are using HyRef to integrate renewable energy into the grid is State Grid Jibei Electricity Company Limited (SG-JBEPC), a subsidiary company of the State Grid Corporation of China.

SG-JBEPC is running the 670 megawatt Zhangbei demonstration project, the world’s largest renewable energy initiative that will combine wind and solar power, energy storage and transmission.

Using HyRef, phase one of the Zhangbei project aims to increase the integration of renewable power generation by 10 percent. This amount of renewable energy can power roughly more than 14,000 homes. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on Ecoseed

Renewables to Surpass Gas and Nuclear by 2016

renewable-energyPower generated from renewable sources is projected to surpass that of natural gas and twice the power generated by nuclear by 2016, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.

Renewable sources will be the second most important global source of energy by 2016 due to its continuing growth, according to the “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report”. By 2018, the report projects that the power generation from renewables will increase by an estimated 25 percent of gross power generated.

Over the period of 2012 to 2018, renewable electricity generation is predicted to rise from 4,860 terawatt hours to 6,850 TWh, an increase of 40 percent. Comparing it to the period of 2006 to 2012 growth in generation, it is 50 percent higher than the 1,330 TWh increment registered.

This positive outlook on renewable electricity generation is due to the accelerating investment and deployment in emerging markets where renewables help meet demand for power, and the fact that renewable are becoming cost-competitive.

“As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation. This is good news for a global energy system that needs to become cleaner and more diversified, but it should not be an excuse for government complacency, especially among O.E.C.D. countries,” said I.E.A. Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

The report shows that though investments in renewable energy in 2012 were high, there was still a small decline. This is due to policy uncertainties that cloud the investment outlook for some key markets. When it comes to project viability, even when resources are good and technology costs are favorable, policy, market, and technology risks can still undermine it – with policy uncertainty being the biggest risk.

When it comes to biofuels, it is expected that the clean fuel will reach 2.4 million barrels per day in 2018, an increase of over 25 percent from 2012 to 2018. But biofuels still face short-term production challenges, such as the slow development of advanced biofuels, sustainability of feedstock supply chains, sluggish oil demand growth, and policy uncertainty.

Ms. Van der Hoeven pointed out that policy uncertainty is public enemy number one for investors.

“Many renewable no longer require high economic incentives. But they do still need long-term policies that provide a predictable and reliable market and regulatory framework compatible with social goals,” I.E.A.’s executive director added, noting that worldwide subsidies for fossil fuel still remain six times higher than the economic incentives for renewables.

That is why persistence of supportive policy frameworks will be crucial to maintaining the deployment momentum of renewable sources, the report concluded. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

Japan’s Solar Market: Growth is an Understatement

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Japan is making significants stride toward renewable energy development, particularly in solar and wind, in the aftermath of Fukushima disaster in 2011.

This year, the country will add over 5 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity, surpassing Germany and the United States, forecasted a new report from IMS Research, part of consultancy firm IHS Inc.

According to The P.V. Market in Japan report, the Japanese photovoltaic market will explode by 120 percent in 2013 driven by its feed-in tariff for solar projects.

Implemented last July 1, the F.I.T for solar will pay up to 42 yen ($0.44 )per kilowatt hour, twice the rate offered in Germany and more than three times that of China’s. This is likely to be reduced by around 10 percent starting April 1.

“At 42 yen Japan’s F.I.T. is by far the most attractive globally—overly generous perhaps, which could lead to overheating of the market,” said Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS.

While the 10 percent reduction in tariffs is anticipated by industry players, Mr. Sharma stressed that this will only have little impact on both internal rates of return and market demand. Many systems that have already applied for the higher F.I.T. are able to benefit from the 42 yen rate even if they are installed past April 1.

Japan will see solar installations exceed 1 GW during the first quarter alone, making it the second largest market in 2013 after China.

“Mega solar” projects or those having more than 2 megawatts in Japan are found to be a key driver for the country’s triple-digit P.V. growth rate.

Two of the mega solar projects currently in Japan’s pipeline are trading company Marubeni’s 81.5 MW P.V. plant in the coastal industrial area of Oita City (see related story), and electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera’s 70 MW P.V. facility in Kagoshima City (see related story).

“These so-called ‘mega-solar’ projects are being deployed at a rapid rate, and we expect they will account for approximately 25 percent of total demand in 2013,” stressed Frank Xie, report co-author and IHS senior analyst for P.V. and solar research. “Government policy is in clear support of these projects while the country grapples with severe energy shortages following its shunning of nuclear power.”

However, he noted that such trend is expected to be short-lived, with development of large solar power plants facing a decline after 2014 due to shortage of land in the country.

The Japanese government aims to have 28 GW of solar generating capacity by 2020 and 53 GW by 2030.

Similarly, a wind energy boom is also foreseen for Japan in 2013 as it plans to build 1 GW wind farm off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, the largest in the world. According to another report by Frost and Sullivan, the growth of the nation’s wind industry is hoped to help the global wind industry recover from a slowdown it had experienced last year (see related story).

The government also have a generous incentive scheme for wind energy projects priced at 23.1 yen ($0.6) per kilowatt-hour, double the rate in Germany. – C. Dominguez

Original Article on EcoSeed

IEA: Renewables to Grow 40% by 2018

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Despite economic uncertainties, global power generation from renewable sources of energy is seen to grow by more than 40 percent to almost 6,400 terawatt-hours over the next five years, or roughly 1.5 times the current electricity production in the United States, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.

Renewable energy generation from 2011 to 2017 is expected to be around 1,840 terawatt-hours, 60 percent more than the registered growth of 1,160 terawatt-hours in 2005 to 2011.

The study says more markets will be venturing into renewable energy, especially non-members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Those new markets would be accounting for two-thirds of the total growth.

China will have the largest share of the 710-gigawatt growth at 40 percent, while significant growth will be posted as well in other countries including the United States, India, Germany and Brazil.

Hydropower is still the largest renewable energy source globally with a growth of 730 terawatt-hours more in 2011 to 2017, driven by non-O.E.C.D. countries. Onshore wind, bioenergy and solar are right behind, respectively, with growth split equally between O.E.C.D. members and non-members.

The report indicates the maturing portfolio of renewable energy technologies, supportive policy, and market frameworks in O.E.C.D. countries were instrumental in this growth, but increasing electricity demand and energy security needs have also spurred growth especially in emerging markets.

“These new deployment opportunities are creating a virtuous cycle of improved global competition and cost reductions,” the report said.

“Renewable energy is expanding rapidly as technologies mature, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries,” I.E.A. executive director Maria van der Hoeven said. “Market stakeholders need a clear understanding of the major drivers and barriers to renewable deployment.” – N.P. Arboleda

Original Article on EcoSeed

The 100K Solar Lantern Project Announced by Panasonic

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Panasonic Corporation is set to distribute 100,000 solar L.E.D. lanterns to people in electricity scarce regions across the world by 2018 to mark the company’s centennial anniversary.

The 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project aims to help address many of the problems in non-electrified areas by using solar lanterns that can generate electricity from sunlight during the day and store it in a battery to serve as small lighting fixtures at night.

According to Panasonic, there are about 1.32 billion people worldwide, particularly in developing countries in Asia and Africa, who have no access to electricity. Most of the households in these regions depend on kerosene lamps for lighting, but these lamps pose the risk of fire and affect human health.

“The lack of electric light in these regions means challenges in the areas of healthcare, education and the economy,” said Panasonic.

To jump start the project, the Japanese multinational distributed 3,000 compact solar lights to non profit organizations and nongovernmental organizations in Myanmar. The country’s electrification rate is one of the lowest in Asia at just 13 percent, jeopardizing its economic development.

The electronics company will donate another 5,000 compact solar lights to an N.G.O. in India and 2,000 lights to a refugee camp in Africa by next month.

The 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project was based on the company’s previous efforts, in which it donated 1,000 solar L.E.D. lanterns to Tanzania through a United Nation agency in April 2011 and 2,000 lanterns to Cambodia through an N.G.O. in March 2012.

“[T]he firm belief that these lanterns can play a major role in helping to solve social issues in developing countries and newly emerging economies,” stressed Panasonic.

Panasonic seeks to become the global leader in green innovation in the electronics industry by 2018, with continuous efforts to donate solar lanterns to developing countries and emerging countries in Asia and Africa. – C. Dominguez

Original Article on EcoSeed

Asia Pacific Solar Market: Ready to Explode

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A new report suggests that solar demand across the Asia Pacific region will increase by 13.5 gigawatts in 2013, a 50 percent growth year-over-year.

According to the Q1’13 report of industry analyst NPD Solarbuzz, 90 percent of solar demand this year is expected to come from China, Australia, Japan and India – the Asia Pacific region market leaders.

However, as factors such as domestic manufacturing, policies, import duties, and customer preferences bring changes to the discrete end-market demand environments in these countries, P.V. suppliers and technologies must be able to find ways to keep up.

“Having a single go-to-market strategy to meet growing .P.V demand across the entire A.P.A.C. region is no longer viable,” said Chris Sunsong, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “Quarterly cycles also continue to define P.V. demand, reflecting the effects of policy deadlines and weather-related seasonality.”

Solarbuzz said Australia in particular will experience sluggish P.V. growth in 2013, with the elimination of the Solar Credit Multiplier, as well as the incentive reductions in Victoria and Queensland.

Significantly, government support demonstrated through policies will usher the take off of solar industry in other Asian Pacific countries.

Japan will see a surging growth in P.V. demand prior to the deliberate tariff reductions this April, said the report.

With the Central government intending to advance its goals under its 12th Five-Year Solar Development Plan, China’s solar power capacity is predicted to climb by 7 gigawatts, with more than 75 percent to come about during the second quarter. Nevertheless, Solarbuzz warned that likely adjustments in the feed-in tariff will force P.V. developers to finish their projects ahead of time this year to avoid year-end panic buying of materials experienced in the previous years.

While the final version of Phase II of India’s National Solar Mission program – which aims to install 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 – is still pending, its implementation is anticipated to deliver to the country a capacity growth from 3.7 to 9 GW, with a special focus on the off-grid and rooftop technologies.

Solarbuzz noted that the Asian Pacific region is increasingly becoming “more selective” about technologies.

In Japan, high-efficiency modules are favored for areas with constrained space. In China, on the other hand, domestic multi c-Si modules are opted for ground-mounted requirements. Finally, in India, roof-mounted systems are specifically preferred to meet the 1 GW demand under Phase II of the solar mission, which could shrink the demand for thin-film materials used in large-scale solar facilities.

“There are various factors driving overall PV demand across the A.P.A.C. region, but each country is still subject to a number of risk factors,” said Mr. Sunsong. “For example, the Chinese and Indian markets are constrained by bank financing and grid accessibility, and Australia remains vulnerable to future policy shocks.” – C. Dominguez

Original Article on EcoSeed

Middle East Solar Industry Could Hit $6.8 Billion

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The Middle East is boosting its solar power sector with $6.8 billion worth of projects in the pipeline, said Jigar Shah, the chairman of the inaugural Solar Middle East Conference.

Mr. Shah told a Trade Arabia report that around 10 major projects are set to be plugged in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

“Everyone is desperate to invest in the Middle East solar industry, they are all just waiting for clear instructions from the governments in the region,” said Mr, Shah, who is also the partner of clean energy investment company Inerjys.

“The economics of switching to solar energy are far better here than in South Africa, India, Brazil, China and the U.S. Now that the costs of developing solar technologies have significantly declined, it is time for the Middle East to turn talk into action.”

While the Middles East possesses vast potential of solar power, it still lags behind other more established markets like the European Union and North America, noted Mr. Shah.

Consequently, solar technology experts are urging the governments to implement key policies and regulations that will facilitate immediate investments in the industry as well as accelerate the deployment of the solar energy projects.

The Middle East is one of the biggest fossil fuel producing regions, with major exporters Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.

Having the world’s largest oil and gas reserves together with North Africa, the Middle East is unlikely to be an “advocate” of renewable energy. Nonetheless, with unlimited renewable energy prospects, particularly solar power, the region is gradually tapping these resources to create a new market.

“I expect a great future for solar energy in the Middle East. The region can be the global leader in solar energy on the practical innovation and deployment side of the equation,” said Khalid Masri, the managing director of consultancy firm Standards Associates, and another speaker at the conference.

The Solar Middle East Conference, which will open in Dubai on February 17, is aimed at addressing the crucial issues confronting the region’s immense solar potential. It will involve stakeholders and experts in the solar industry both at regional and international levels, as well as some government officials. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

World Solar Capacity Passes 100GW Milestone

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The cumulative solar photovoltaic capacity of the world crossed the 100-gigawatt milestone in 2012, to reach over 101 gigawatts, according to figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.

The new global P.V. capacity generates as much electricity annually as 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors of 1 GW apiece, said E.P.I.A.

The solar association also noted that the world’s P.V. installations can now cut 53 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

In 2012 approximately 30 GW of new generating capacity was plugged, around the same level as in 2011.

Germany remains unbeatable as the world’s top P.V. producer, accounting for the largest amount of new P.V. installations at 7.6 GW.

Other top European P.V. markets last year are Italy with 3.3 GW and France with 1.2 GW.

For the past decade, the European countries have been the largest solar P.V. market, collectively comprising two thirds of the global P.V. installations in 2011 – earning the region the title of the “world leader in solar deployment” (see related story).

Meanwhile, the top non-European P.V. markets are China with at least 3.5 GW and as much as 4.5 GW, the United States with 3.2 GW and Japan with 2.5 GW.

“No one would have predicted even 10 years ago that we would see more than 100 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity in the world by 2012,” said E.P.I.A. President Winfried Hoffmann.

“The photovoltaic industry clearly faces challenges but the results of 2012 show there is a strong global market for our technology. Even in tough economic times and despite growing regulatory uncertainty, we have nearly managed to repeat the record year of 2011.”

E.P.I.A. said these figures are initial and could increase by 1 or 2 GW when final results for 2012 are published this coming May. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

13 Off Grid Solar Projects Light Up Sierra Leone

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Electricity shortage is a common problem in the nation of Sierra Leone’s experience. Now a public-private partnership funded by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization is planning to bring solar power to some of the areas that need it most.

In the western African country, just less than 10 percent of its population has access to electricity and those that do subsequently suffer from high prices due to inefficient and costly generators.

The Unido is planning to address this problem in several locations by funding 13 turn-key solar photovoltaic power plants. Laos-based social enterprise Sunlabob Renewable Energy has been awarded two contracts for the design, supply, installation and local training of these projects.

Sunlabob specializes in renewable energy and clean water projects in developing countries. To complete the solar P.V. plants – twelve 5-kilowatt peak plants and one 16 kWp plant – they will work with local partners.

They will also provide hands-on usage and maintenance training with community members to establish awareness and understanding to allow prolonged operations of solar P.V. plants.

“Providing off-grid areas with renewable energy not only enables dependable and affordable electricity, but also opens the door to positive, long-term social and economic development,” said Andy Schroeter, Sunlabob’s founder and chief executive officer.

The off-grid solar P.V. projects are expected to help promote Sierra Leone’s economic growth, delivering a reliable power supply in education and training facilities.

Universities and centers will be able to use computers, internet and other communication tools to improve education opportunities and learn skills necessary in local enterprise development, said Sunlabob.

Sunlabob previously designed, installed and provided community training for 53 kWp solar P.V. plants across three industrial growth centers in Sierra Leone in 2012. These plants are paving the way for agricultural entrepreneurship training and development for rural youth and young adults in underprivileged communities, according to the company.

Within Africa, Sunlabob already built solar power facilities in rural areas of Liberia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Guinea Bissau, and is currently working to light up over 60 schools throughout Uganda in partnership with the World Bank. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

First Solar Gobbles Up Largest Solar Project in New Mexico

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First Solar, Inc. has acquired what will be the largest solar power project in New Mexico, the 50 megawatt Macho Springs Solar Project.

The Macho Springs Solar project is being developed in Luna County, New Mexico by Element Solar Power. The project is expected to be completed in 2014, at which point it will produce enough renewable energy for over 18,000 homes while preventing 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year from reaching the atmosphere.

The solar project is located on land leased from the New Mexico State Land Office and the power generated by the project will be purchased by El Paso Electric under a power purchase agreement that is subject to regulatory approval, expected in the first half of 2013.

First Solar will construct the Macho Springs facility using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules.

“We’re very excited to continue our work in New Mexico, increasing the state’s utility-scale solar generation capacity,” said Dana Diller, First Solar Vice President of U.S. Business Development.

First Solar has already completed several smaller projects in the state, including the 30 MW Cimarron Solar Facility for Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy as well as 22 MWs of solar projects for PNM Resources, both in 2011.

The company has also been selected to build another 21.5 MW worth of projects, again for PNM, this time for completion in late 2013. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

Latin America’s Largest Solar Plant Being Constructed by SunEdison

sunedison-logo-smallSunEdison is constructing a 100MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Chile for the mining and steel group CAP.

The plant, which will be located in the Atacama Desert of Chile, will be the largest of its sort in the Latin American region and one of the largest in the world. It will produce as much as 15 percent of the mining group’s energy needs.

To be build using SunEdison technology, the plant will use more than 300,000 Silvantis monocrystalline silicon modules, coupled with SunEdison solar trackers.

Once completed, the project will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operations Center. The R.O.C. provides round the clock monitoring and management services to a global portfolio of photovoltaic installations that are owned and operated by SunEdison and third parties.

The first phase of the Chile plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. During the first year of operations, the plant will generate 270 gigawatt hours of clean energy and avoid the emission of over 135,000 tones of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere.

SunEdison has been operating in Latin America since 2010 with offices in Chile, Brazil and Mexico.

The company is a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials. As of September 2012, the SunEdison has interconnected over 850MW of solar energy around the world. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed

Empa Scientists Acheive 20.4% Flexible CIGS Efficiency

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A record breaking thin film solar cell has been developed by scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.

A team of researchers led by Ayodhya N. Tiwari at the institute’s Laboratory for Thin Film and Photovoltaics have achieved 20.4 percent energy conversion efficiency for their C.I.G.S. solar cells on flexible polymer foils.

C.I.G.S. solar cells are thin film solar cells that use a semiconducting material known as copper indium gallium selenide. The material is more cost-effective to use and produce than the silicon used as semiconducting material in conventional photovoltaics but current C.I.G.S. cells do not have the efficiency of silicon-based cells.

Improving the efficiency of C.I.G.S. is a task that Mr. Tiwari’s team has been working on since the 1990s. Their new C.I.G.S. cell on flexible polymer substrates broke the previous of 18.7 percent achieved in May 2011 – also from a cell developed by Mr. Tiwari’s team (see related story).

The cell efficiency value was independently certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. The new efficiency record for C.I.G.S. on flexible polymers now exceeds the record value of 20.3 percent for C.I.G.S. on glass substrates and equals the highest efficiencies for polycrystalline silicon wafer-based solar cells.

Thin-film solar cells made with C.I.G.S. are attractive for numerous applications – from conventional solar power generation to more innovative projects, such as building-integrated photovoltaics and personal solar devices. They are easier to produce compared to silicon-based P.V. and also use lower costing materials.

“The series of record efficiencies for flexible C.I.G.S. solar cells developed at Empa demonstrates that thin film solar cells can match the excellent performance of polycrystalline silicon cells. Now it is time for the next step, the scale-up of the technology to cover large areas in a cost-efficient roll-to-roll manufacturing process with an industrial partner”, says Gian-Luca Bona the Director of Empa.

Empa will be collaborating with Flison, a start-up company involved in the industrialization of flexible C.I.G.S. solar cells, to commercialize the improved solar cells developed by Mr. Tiwari’s team.

The research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Commission for Technology and Innovation, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and the E.U. Framework Programmes. – EcoSeed Staff

Original Article on EcoSeed